The key to really memorable wedding reception pictures is for your photographer to capture people having fun and interacting with each other. Here are six tips to help you get the best reception pictures.

Guest participation= Fun wedding reception pictures.

When your guests do more than just eat and mingle at your reception you’ll get more pictures of them. Because pictures of guests eating and standing around with a cocktail aren’t always the most flattering.

These are examples of reception activities that will entertain your guests. For more ideas ask your DJ, venue coordinator, and planner too. They can come up with lots of ways to keep your guest entertained that also provide good photo opportunities.

Fun reception entrance for the wedding party & parents– have the DJ help you choose songs for everyone to dance to when they enter the reception. Give people props and costumes to wear. This is a classic way to kick off your wedding reception with lots of laughter.

Trivia- instead of clinking glasses to make you kiss, require guests to answer trivia questions about you two. If they get it right you kiss, if they get it wrong they kiss.

Lawn Games– for outdoor receptions in the summer when daylight lasts longest play cornhole (bean bag toss), get a giant Jenga, or set up a super simple mini golf course with red solo cup holes.

Arcade Games- For an indoor reception Rent classic arcade games like Space Invaders or Pacman. Most everyone can enjoy the classics regardless of their age.

wedding reception pictures entrance ideas
A fun wedding reception entrance can include your parents too.

For fun (and funny) wedding reception table pictures with your guests, make it a race.

The best table pictures I’ve ever taken were when the DJ put on a song and had the couple rushed around to each table as fast as they possibly could. These pictures were hilarious and so memorable. Guests really got to be themselves without awkward smiles or saying “cheese” to the camera. For the best table pictures at your reception, make sure they happen before dinner. Then the tables aren’t full of dirty dishes and used napkins.

a couple gets fun wedding reception pictures with their guests
Thanks to the DJs at Complete Weddings & New Prague, Mn wedding venue the Broz for organizing this fun wedding reception.

Make memorable wedding reception pictures with a photo booth.

You can DIY a photo booth, have your photographer help you make one, or rent from a professional photo booth company. Either way, it’s something fun for guests to do.

If you get a booth that can print pictures, put a photo album out on a table near the booths so guests can get a picture to take home with them, and leave a copy in your album for you to enjoy. If you’re going with an all-digital booth make sure your guests have an easy way to access their pictures after the wedding.

Wedding reception pictures at the photo booth with mascot heads. Venue: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres with Minnesota Wedding Party’s photo booth

Sneak out of your wedding reception for some sunset or nighttime pictures together.

Time your reception so you can finish dinner and your first dance before sunset, then head outdoors to capture the last golden evening rays.

a couple kisses for their sunset wedding reception  pictures in Le Sueur Mn
Sunset wedding reception pictures at North Star Farm Events Center in Le Sueur, Mn

When the reception schedule doesn’t allow us to catch the sunset I like to get out my lighting and make magic with twilight or nighttime wedding portraits. These portraits are special because all the pressure of the wedding day is done and you can completely relax together.

a couple outside at night with a bonfire for their winter wedding reception pictures

For the very best wedding reception pictures, let your photographer know what to expect.

The most important thing you can do to have the absolute BEST wedding reception pictures possible is tell your photographer what to expect at the reception. The more prepared we are the better. If we know you’re going to do your first dance before dinner, or you’re going to be surprising your partner with cake in their face we can anticipate this and make sure we’re set up to capture it before it happens.

For sparkler and confetti reception exits, letting your photographer know about it in advance is key! They need to know it’s happening so they can plan to stay late enough to capture it.

You also need to make sure you’re hiring a photographer who knows how to work with the reception lighting, such as uplighting or the DJ’s lighting. This is very low light from artificial sources and needs to be photographed differently than outdoor natural light.

Minnesota wedding reception pictures with uplighting
Wedding reception pictures with uplighting at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Mn.

What are the most important wedding reception pictures?

Every reception is different, but the wedding reception pictures my couples request most are:

  1. Speeches & toasts
  2. First Dance
  3. Everyone having fun
  4. Cutting the cake
  5. Sunset or nighttime portraits
  6. Pictures of important people who were not in the wedding party like co-workers and neighbors.

When we work together to plan your wedding photography I’ll ask you questions about your reception so I know exactly what to expect. This will help me give you the best wedding reception pictures possible.

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